Working from home increases your risk of making mistakes, scientists say

Having three days at home and two in the office could become the new normal as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, some experts believe.

Large companies, including Microsoft, are promoting a ‘hybrid model’ of working post-lockdown, comprising a mix of work from home and office work. 

The oil company BP, which sold its London headquarters last year, said staff would work from the office three days a week.

The accountancy firm PwC said it expects workers to be in the office or with clients between two and three days a week from September, adding that flexible working would be the ‘norm rather than the exception’.

Chairman and senior partner at PwC, Kevin Ellis, said office life is particularly important for those starting out in their careers.

This group will be in the office two to three days a week in order to ‘learn, network and socialise’. 

The Institute of Directors said two thirds of business leaders will allow remote working.

Roger Barker, the institute’s director of policy, said the pandemic had driven a revolution ‘greater than radical reform or regulation ever could have’.

And YouGov found just one in five bosses will require all staff to come in five days a week after the pandemic.

NatWest expects almost nine in ten staff to work at home while Asda said its employees could work from any location suited to their job.

YouGov’s head of data journalism, Matt Smith, said ‘hybrid working will become the norm for many’.

John Lewis has introduced the option of flexible working for all head office staff, unless they cannot do their job from home, saying the pandemic had made everyone rethink ‘the norm of five days in an office’.

The department store chain’s People Director, Nikki Humphrey, said: ‘Being forced to work from home made us all realise very quickly that we could do what we had previously thought was impossible.

‘Now that we can go back to our offices, the seismic change has made us question why we would expect people to do long commutes up to five days per week when they could use that time to improve their lives by spending more time with their families, pursuing interests or other personal commitments.’

The outsourcer Capita said 35,000 of its 55,000 staff can work from home most of the time, while Asda said staff could work from any location suited to their job.

The Very Group, which owns online retailers Very and Littlewoods, said staff could do a combination of office and home-working.    

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